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Elmore James

Artist Pages

...As an electric guitar and blues innovator, Elmore James’s influence transcended his genre and generation. Born Elmore Brooks into a field hand family in Holmes County, Mississippi in 1918, James began making music at age twelve by playing...
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...The “original” Sonny Boy Williamson is not to be confused with Sonny Boy Williamson II. Though unrelated, both were blues harmonica players. But where the second Sonny Boy Williamson (born Aleck Miller) played an electrified blues harp...
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...The electric guitar and pounding foot of John Lee Hooker helped to establish blues in the post-World War II American musical culture. Born in Mississippi in either 1912 or 1917, Hooker was homeschooled by his mother...

Lead Belly

Artist Pages

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...Despite a short professional career, the lessons learned from the mythology around—and performances of—Huddie Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly, have provided a rich insight into the early development of commercial American folk music...

B.B. King

Artist Pages

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...As a figure commonly recognized as “the King of the Blues,” B.B. King’s almost seventy-year career saw seventy-four entries on the Billboard R & B charts and the evolution of his form into various idioms of popular music. Born in 1925...
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...As one of the most prolific artists to emerge from the Beale Street scene in Memphis, Tennessee, Bobby Bland’s career spanned fifty years. Born in 1930 in the small town of Barretville, Tennessee, Bland dropped out of school after third...

Joe Cocker

Artist Pages

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...Known for his unique performance style and gritty-voiced takes on pop material, Joe Cocker was recognized across the globe as one of the best singers of the 1960s and 1970s. Born in Sheffield, England in 1944, Cocker was influenced...
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...As blues music transitioned from acoustic to electric, Lonnie Johnson’s innovative style inspired a generation of artists to push new technology to its limits. Born into a musical family in New Orleans in 1899, Johnson learned to play...

Louis Jordan

Artist Pages

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...The “King of the Jukebox,” Louis Jordan, became a star among both white and black audiences during a period when the two were intentionally kept separate. Jordan was born in Arkansas in 1908. His father was a music teacher who taught his...

Yoko Kanno

Artist Pages

...Yôko Kanno is a Japanese composer who is well known for her involvement in anime productions. It is reported that she sometimes sings her own compositions under the pseudonym “Gabriella Robin,” though she has also released albums under her...